There was a big debate in CD-48 Wednesday night featuring all of the candidates challenging Dana Rohrabacher for Congress. Generally speaking, all of the candidates are focused on him and not fellow Democrats. But that is starting to change.
I received two announcements after the debate — pre-completed and ready to send the minute the debate was over of course — one from Harley Rouda’s camp and one from Dr. Hans Keirstead.
We’ll start with Keirstead’s first:
Democrats Show Unity In Taking On Dana Rohrabacher; Hans Keirstead Provides Clear Vision For Winning In 2018
NEWPORT BEACH – Democratic frontrunner Dr. Hans Keirstead took the stage with fellow Democrats to present his ideas on how to win the 48th district and fight for an economy that works for all Americans.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to meet with more than 500 voters and share a positive vision for our country. There is much work to be done to better the lives of hardworking Americans and that starts with winning this seat in 2018,” said Dr. Hans Keirstead.
“People are fired up in Orange County. The energy, the enthusiasm, and the engagement this far out from the election is the reason Democrats will prevail in November. Thank you to the Aliso Niguel Democratic Club for hosting this very important event,” stated Keirstead.
Here’s the announcement from Harley Rouda’s campaign:
HARLEY ROUDA CEMENTS FRONT-RUNNER STATUS AT FIRST DEBATE OF 2018
Prominent Democratic Activists Praise Rouda’s Knowledge of Critical Issues
NEWPORT BEACH, CA – In front of a sold-out crowd of over 700 Democratic primary voters, Harley Rouda squared off in the first debate of 2018 sponsored by the Aliso Niguel Democratic Club and co-sponsored by various Democratic and Progressive organizations across the 48th district. Rouda showed a broad and deep knowledge of issues ranging from education, to the environment, healthcare and jobs.
Prominent Democratic Activist and California Democratic Party Delegate from the 48th Audrey Prosser reaffirmed her commitment to Rouda in light of the debate.
“Harley Rouda showed tonight that he is the candidate to beat Dana Rohrabacher. While Trump and Rohrabacher are taking us backwards, Harley has the knowledge, passion and integrity to move us forward. I’m with Harley!” Prosser said.
Fellow Delegate and Ocean View School Board Member Gina Clayton-Tarvin echoed Prosser’s praise for Rouda’s dominating performance. “On a crowded stage, it takes a strong candidate to stand out. Harley has done that once again tonight. Harley’s broad and deep understanding of the issues cemented his status as the front-runner tonight. He is the candidate that will stand up to the backwards Trump agenda and stop Dana Rohrabacher.”
Tonight’s debate comes on the heels of Harley Rouda securing his sixth labor endorsement from the California Nurses Association. Rouda and three other Democratic contenders will return to the stage Saturday morning for a debate hosted by the Huntington Beach Huddle.
I like both candidates personally. Heck, I like a lot of those candidates running in this race personally even though most of the announcements I get is from these two campaigns.
Absent polling, neither can claim front runner status. The only way to claim that now, on a crowded stage, is fundraising — and loans from your businesses to your campaign do not count. There’s been no independent polling in this race as of yet, so let’s refrain from declaring “front running status” until we get some.
I’d also like to point out that based on the end time of the debate (I’m out of town, so I got a text from a friend who attended telling me how it went), I need to call out Rouda’s PR people on the obviously canned quotes from Audrey Prosser and Gina Clayton-Tarvin who approved these quotes before any candidate took the stage. Rouda’s PR team should have waited a few more hours before hitting the send button on this announcement because there’s just no way those carefully crafted quotes were not done in advance.
Now I’m not going to single out Rouda here, but who died and declared Keirstead the Democratic front-runner? But his release was more about Democrats vs Dana than Rouda’s was. Polling gentlemen. Show us polling.
There’s another debate this Saturday and only four candidates are invited; how the four were selected, I have no idea. I’d encourage the candidates participating Saturday to refrain from claims of frontrunner status without any sort of data to back it up and remember, Dana Rohrabacher is the opponent. A pledge of unity to support the Democrat who wins the primary would be awesome.
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